An Adventure in Color

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Any Way You Want It by Journey.

The world is absolutely an amazing place. There is so much to see and learn and try. It all astounds me. I love so many things, and that is why the Hindu Holi Festival of Color is right up my alley.

Yesterday, Frankie guessed correctly when I showed a picture that looked like I had jumped through a rainbow. The Holi Festival of Color is an amazing experience, and if you ever have a chance to go, I highly recommend it.

First a little history for those interested (via religionfacts. Read the last paragraph if nothing else):

Celebrated all over India since ancient times, Holi's precise form and purpose display great variety. Originally, Holi was an agricultural festival celebrating the arrival of spring.

This aspect still plays a significant part in the festival in the form of the colored powders: Holi is a time when man and nature alike throw off the gloom of winter and rejoice in the colors and liveliness of spring.

Holi also commemorates various events in Hindu mythology, but for most Hindus it provides a temporary opportunity for Hindus to disregard social norms, indulge in merrymaking and generally "let loose."

The legend commemorated by the festival of Holi involves an evil king named Hiranyakashipu. He forbade his son Prahlad from worshipping Vishnu, but Radhu continued to do offer prayers to the god. Getting angry with his son, Hiranyakashipu challenged Prahlad to sit on a pyre with his wicked aunt Holika who was believed to be immune to fire. (In an alternate version, Holika put herself and Prahlad on the fire on orders from her brother.)

Prahlad accepted the challenge and prayed to Vishnu to keep him safe. When the fire started, everyone watched in amazement as Holika was burnt to death, while Prahlad survived without a scar to show for it. The burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi. According to some accounts, Holika begged Prahlad for forgiveness before her demise, and he decreed that she would be remembered every year at Holi.

An alternative account of the basis of the holiday is associated with a legend involving Lord Shiva, one of the major Hindu gods. Shiva is known for his meditative nature and his many hours spent in solitude and deep meditation. Madana, the God of love, decided to test his resolve and appeared to Shiva in the form of a beautiful nymph. But Shiva recognized Madana and became very angry. In a fit of rage he shot fire out of his third eye and reduced her to ashes. This is sometimes given as the basis of Holi's bonfire.

The festival of Holi is also associated with the enduring love between Lord Krishna (an incarnation of Vishnu) and Radha, and Krishna in general. According to legend, the young Krishna complained to his mother Yashoda about why Radha was so fair and he so dark. Yashoda advised him to apply colour on Radha's face and see how her complexion would change. Because of this associated with Krishna, Holi is extended over a longer period in Vrindavan and Mathura, two cities with which Krishna is closely affiliated.

Krishna's followers everywhere find special meaning in the joyous festival, as general frivolity is considered to be in imitation of Krishna's play with the gopis (wives and daughters of cowherds).

Holi is spread out over two days (it used to be five, and in some places it is longer). The entire holiday is associated with a loosening of social restrictions normally associated with caste, sex, status and age. Holi thus bridges social gaps and brings people together: employees and employers, men and women, rich and poor, young and old. Holi is also characterized by the loosening of social norms governing polite behavior and the resulting general atmosphere of licentious merrymaking and ribald language and behavior. A common saying heard during Holi is bura na mano, Holi hai ("don't feel offended, it's Holi").

So there you have it. I like to learn as much as I can about anything I try because it gives a depth and richness to it that I might have missed out on. But let's admit it, the idea of throwing pure color at people sounds like a ton of fun. Onto the main event!


me before it all goes down. :)

all of us together. There were estimates between 5,000-15,000 people there.

getting ready for the big puff.

she has the right idea - trust me.

as the dust begins to settle. We literally blocked out the sun (seriously)!

the long walk home. Cars were lined up for miles.

A closer look at the carnage. Really, it was the most incredible experience.

And here is a short video clip of the actual footage. I am to the far far left so the pavilion is blocking where I would be, but that also meant we got all of the downdraft. Downdraft = *awesome.* But don't count on breathing too much (remember that purple tongue and blocking out the sun?). And you are going to get very thirsty because this stuff is made of maize and starch. The video does a good job of capturing the feeling of being there (and the song is the actual song they sang after the big puff). My suggestion to you? Go find an adventure of your own. Today. Now. It can be anything, even something simple. Adventures are not limited to superheroes only. Remember, I'm only ordinary girl extraordinaire. I just make sure I have fun with the title.

Guess My Adventure, 2nd edition.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): The Middle by Jimmy Eat World.

I'm back with another adventure. Can anyone guess where I am/what I'm going? This one happened quite recently (and that is probably too big of a clue already). This was an absolute blast. I can't wait to give you the full details of it tomorrow.

Another stream of exciting news

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Hearbeats by José González.

It was unveiled yesterday that the amazingly cute/sweet/bashful/[insert your own adorable adjective here] Shannon Messenger now has an agent! And not just any agent, but the amazing Laura Rennert who has headed such small projects as Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why, Ellen Hopkins Tricks, Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver (and upcoming Linger), and Kimberly Derting's The Body Finder. You know, those small books. So go over and congratulate her on this huge accomplishment! She really is about the sweetest thing you'll ever meet. (And you may want to become a follower while you're over there. She's got a rocking contest going on just this morning, with signed copies of all those aforementioned books in the running. Yeah, she's that cool. Click here to go straight to the contest).

Also in other small news, Stephenie Meyer is releasing a novella on June 5th, 2010 (in bookstores for $13.99 hardcover), set in the world of Eclipse about one of the newborn vampires, Bree Tanner, who was first introduced in that book. But even better, from June 7th-July 5th you will be able to read the full thing online, for free at Click here on Stephenie's Meyer's official site for more details. (How do you like that, Shannon? You're paired with Stephenie Meyer!) :)

Monday's Muse, 12th edition.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Breaking the Silence by Loreena McKennit.

This was originally an idea from Au Courant started in March, an idea she has graciously let me run with.

The idea is to introduce you to unknown, forgotten, or overlooked fiction that has been lost from regular radar. I am WriterGirl. I am in the business of saving lives, one book at a time.

What I do is go to amazon, narrow it down to a YA field and type in a random word, any word that comes to mind. I then take a sampling of some I have never heard of before, or only vaguely heard of (and hopefully you as well). No infringement is intended for any description I take for the books. It's purely for promotional reasons. I will try and cover as many genres as possible that are fitting for the random word. Simple but it really uncovers some incredible gems. I will be doing this every other Monday. If there are any words you want to prompt me with, go ahead and fire away.

Today's random word:

Thomas Riley by Nick Valentino.

Thomas Riley is a splendid mixture of fantasy, steampunk, weapons, bombs, weird gelatinous masses, crazy alchemists, trapped souls, a two decade long war, and ingenuity. Nick Valentino has perfected the clipped british dialogue and humorous characters. I dare say I want to go out and buy a pair of googles for myself.

Thomas and Cynthia are weapons masters. They are doing quite fine in their lab trying to find the antidote to a bacteria when soldiers rush them. Along with the soldiers is the Duke's almost dead daughter. Thomas is ordered to perform Lifeblood (an alchemey) that never goes right. Sure enough the Duke's daughter ends up taking up residence in Cynthia's body. The only thing for the two to do is kidnap their enemy's alchemist. Who by the way is a crazy little bugger. Their entire journey from there is pure luck, bad events, and some misfortune. At no time was I bored or wishing that the plot would move along. The scene changes were detailed, from the air ship to the enemy palace. I also loved the attention to detail in regards to the different weapons Thomas and Cynthia created. I felt like although they were fantastical I could see what they might have looked like if they did exist.--Jessie Potts (Amazon reviewer).

The Planet Pirates by Stephen Hickman (Illustrator), Anne McCaffrey
Anne McCaffrey (Collaborator), Jody Lynn Nye (Collaborator), Elizabeth Moon (Collaborator).

The Planet Pirates traces the careers of two remarkable women. Sassinak escaped from slavery to freedom, and then used that freedom to fight the evil that had wrecked her world, first as a cadet, later as a captain, and finally as an Admiral of the Fleet. Lunzie, one of the galaxy's greatest healers, is Sassinak's great grandmother--but in actual years she is her junior; Lunzie spent nearly a century in coldsleep waiting for rescue when her ship was destroyed. Imagine their mutual surprise when Sassinak rescued her. How together Sassinak and Lunzie save first a world, and then a confederation of worlds--and almost in passing establish amity between the genetically engineered Heavy Worlders and normal reality--is the story of The Planet Pirates.

The Big Big Big Book of Tashi (Tashi series) by Anna Fienberg, Barbara Fienberg, and Kim Gamble.

Imported from Australia, this rollicking omnibus unites seven books, many of them bestsellers Down Under, and their popularity is easy to understand. A boy named Jack describes his new friend, Tashi, who arrives one day on the back of a swan from a magical country populated with giants, dragons, ghosts and all sorts of other things that go bump in the night. Tashi mesmerizes Jack (and Jack mesmerizes his parents) with tales of his exploits about outwitting a succession of deliciously horrible villains ("I'll pluck out your nose hairs, one by one," a bandit threatens Tashi. Sometimes Tashi tells a story, to Jack; sometimes Jack recounts a Tashi adventure to his parents. In an amusing role reversal, Jack's parents hang breathlessly on their son's every word ("So tell us," Jack's father says. "After Tashi tricked those giants and teased the bandits, how did he meet these ghosts?"), and the dialogue between the storyteller and his audience invisibly tightens the narrative tension. Teasers end each tale (" `So that's the end of the story,' said Jack sadly. `And everyone was safe and happy again.' `Yes,' said Tashi, `that is, until the bandits arrived' "). Appearing one or two to each page, Gamble's playful b&w drawings are an integral part of the fun, making this outsize volume a prime choice for shipping to summer camp with newly independent readers. Best of all, the answers to those cliffhangers are only a turn of a page away. Ages 6-10. (Publisher's Weekly).

"Think Lord of the Rings lite." —The Modesto Bee

Goddess of Yesterday by Caroline B. Cooney.

The dramatic and bloody siege of Troy is one of the oldest and best of human stories, and in Goddess of Yesterday Caroline Cooney tells it afresh through the eyes of Anaxander, the daughter of the king of a tiny Greek island. As a child she is taken as a hostage to the island of King Nicander. When she is 13, marauding pirates sack the palace, killing everyone but her. Anaxander frightens them off by pretending to be the goddess Medusa, with the help of an octopus as a hairdo. When she is rescued by the ships of King Menalaus, she assumes the identity of a princess, Nicander's daughter, and becomes a royal guest. When Menalaus's cold and vain wife, Helen, runs off to Troy with her lover, Paris, Anaxander goes along to protect Helen's baby son. Within the walls of Troy, she is torn with conflicting loyalties as the bronze-clad warriors of Menalaus land their ships on the plains below the city and war is imminent.

The Glassmaker's Daughter by V. Briceland.

This captivating fantasy takes place in a city rich in history and sensory detail. Cassforte, reminiscent of medieval Venice, is protected by an ancient enchantment tying the king to the seven caza, noble families of craftsmen, by virtue of a nightly fealty rite. Missing the rite is disastrous, and when the king disappears and the prince stages a coup, imprisoning the cazzari and their heirs, everyone is in danger. Risa Divetri, the youngest daughter of Caza Divetri, has always felt misunderstood: her glasswork is different from her family’s, and because neither god chose her during the ceremony all children of the Seven undergo, she can’t learn the Divetri’s glasswork enchantments. At first ashamed and humiliated, Risa is now the only one who can save Cassaforte, and she realizes that the gods have another fate in mind for her. Risa is a willful, capable, and caring heroine, and her bantering relationship with a cheeky guard provides a nice touch of romance. With suspenseful plotting and a marvelous cast of characters, this is a strong addition to female-centered fantasies.--Krista Hutley (Booklist).

Feature Fun Friday - How To Train Your Dragon

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Death And All His Friends by Coldplay.

Because this is based on a book, and because I have been hearing good things about it, I am featuring How To Train Your Dragon here on Feature Fun Friday. I missed the boat on Kung Fu Panda and Meet the Robinson's because I thought both trailers looked stupid and refused to see them, and I would hate to be wrong about this one as well. And who doesn't love dragons? Have a great weekend everyone!

P.S There have been hiccups in my editing program, but next week you WILL see me fencing, I promise. :)

Review - The Diary of Pelly D by L. J. Adlington

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Comme Des Enfants by Coeur De Pirate.

The Diary of Pelly D
by L. J. Adlington
Published: March 29, 2005
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 288
Current Amazon Rank: #1,347,386
Author's Website:

First Line: When the dust settled, Tony V took his goggles off for a moment and rubbed his eyes.

My Take: The Diary of Pelly D is a story that sticks with you long after you finish reading it. Really, I keep coming back to this story even after I think I'm done with it. It is a futuristic dystopian in a far-distant galaxy where they have evolved from the original colonists and developed gills (it's not as weird as it sounds, I promise. In fact it is really cool, and an integral part to the story).

This book is visceral and engaging in a way that is difficult to explain. Tony V is a member of a cleanup crew that is clearing away the rubble from the aftermath of a great war. They aren't supposed to keep or take anything, but he cannot help himself when he finds an empty water bottle with a diary inside and a note that says "dig. dig everywhere."

Inside is the diary a Pelly D and it is through her eyes that the two stories start to stitch themselves together. Pelly D is rich, gorgeous, of the highest social rank in school or anywhere, and completely made of money--and she knows it. She is a brat, but her charismatic personality is strangely captivating. I usually do not take to these types of characters, but she managed to draw me in, because through her words you begin to see past the exterior of her world and glimpse something that strikes a deep chord. Ms. Adlington does an extraordinary job of leaving subtle details for the reader to pick up on. Many of the side characters are well developed, even if they are only mentioned by name.

I loved how Ms. Adlington took something completely foreign like us having gills, and made it not only believable but something that was a part of everyday life. It wasn't something that was just tacked on for a "cool sci-fi effect" just for the sake of being different. It became important to the plot, on many levels. Also, Pelly's voice was spot on authentic. I could hear her voice in my head. That is very cool when an author can do that.

My biggest complaint was that (in an attempt to be spoiler free) there was not the same attention to detail given to her life when things turned for her as when she is living the high life. But for that small detail, there is nothing I cannot wholeheartedly recommend about this absolutely incredible read.

The Last Word: I really don't know why this book isn't more well known. Stunning, visceral, and totally engaging, this is one dystopia you do not want to miss out on. Even if you don't think you like sci-fi, give it a try. You many be surprised.

These incredible illustrations are given by Mr. Illustrator because of a contest I won over at Charlotte's Book on the Hill. We have three left to go in this series!

Library Treasures

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Run by Snow Patrol.

I went to the library for a spot of research and two spots of fun, and look what I found

I love it when I discover secret things in the pages of a book. It's like someone left it just for me. Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever done that for someone else?

Time to laugh: You Know You've Been Querying Too Long When...

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Roll to Me by Del Amitri.

I will not verify which of these apply to me. :)


When you have unintentionally memorized most of the zip codes in New York City.

When you know your entire query letter word-for-word by heart, including the personalization for each new agent.

When you know and have bookmarked agent horror stories and reread them occasionally so you know you're doing something right.

When 30+ queries for a project doesn't seem like a lot anymore.

When you have a turbo bag of M&Ms (or other like candy) by your computer on hand when you check your emails in case any new rejections have come in.

When you are so numb to the process you don't need candy anymore.

When a rejection from an agent results in a near-immediate turn around to another agent in that same agency.

When you know exactly which agencies don't want you to do said turnaround.

When you have separate files on your computer for "BOOK PROJECT TITLE -" 1 page, 5 pages, 10, 30, 50, 75, 100 and full - for easy pull-up when an agent asks for the equivalent.

When you think you've found a new agent, but their email comes in the dropdown box as a prompt.

When three months of waiting no longer seems like forever.

When you plot family vacations around various conferences and use BEA as an excuse for a romantic getaway alongside serious agent/author/publisher/blogger networking and hopeful pitch sessions.

When you try and convince your significant other that it is really is a romantic getaway and that books are seriously sexy. :)

When you can talk with other aspiring authors and drop agent/editor names and you both pick up on it without a beat and talk as if you know them personally (that's a sign for both of you, by the way).

When a partial request is a nice thing, but nothing to get excited over anymore.

When a request for a full still gives a thrill of joy (I don't think that one ever goes away).


When you have to laugh and shake your head at the insanity and impossibility of it all, but you still love it anyway and cannot dream of doing anything else.

Check this out FAST!

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Kyrie by Mr. Mister.

I REALLY need to put this up here now because time is almost out. There is a wonderful young woman who is trying to open up a teen/children's exclusive bookstore in Utah called Fire Petal Books. (yes, my home state). ^_^ But again, this takes money. Not only am I a HUGE supporter of independent bookstores, it is a teen/children's exclusive bookstore. How awesome is that?!

And there is a major incentive. She has one of the coolest, biggest auctions going I have ever seen anywhere. Signed copies of books than I can name, one of which being a signed screenplay by Neil Gaiman. Yes. The Neil Gaiman. Other auction items include a full manuscript critique by Molly O'Neil, a children's editor at Harper Collins (there is also one for a fifteen minute phone conversation with her. Imagine the possibilities!). There is also one for lunch with Bree Despain. Seriously. This stuff is gold.

The catch? It all ends in 24 hours.

So go, check it out now. I'm only wishing I had oodles of money for all of the pretty pretty things. Me personally? I'm thinking on bidding for the rights to name the teen room. That just sounds so cool.

Go! Check it out! Clicky here.

Feature Fun Friday - Rick Riordan unveils his new series

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): The Hustle by Van McCoy.

Hello everyone on this glorious Friday morning! Spring is coming and that makes me happy. And because all good things must be celebrated I have found another awesome unveiling for use to revel in. Rick Riordan, the author of the Percy Jackson books, has announced his newest series for the first time. The camera is a bit shaky, but that's okay because it is that cool (and he also reads from the first chapter in an ultimate sneak preview). And there may or may not be more information on possible further books with Percy and Camp Half-blood given. Just saying. :) Have fun and have a great weekend everyone!

The Great Snake Escape

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): We Will Become Silhouettes by The Postal Service.

You guys were right - again. Remind me never to doubt you. When you left all of those icky comments about the snake's cage lock being too flimsy and about placing heavy objects on the lid, I thought you were just overreacting. I thought "oh no, not me, not ever." Trinity won't get out. Well, I stand corrected. The penitent learn wisdom, because the snake got out.


Now, she didn't actually pull an Alcatraz and slither out of her cage. Oh, she's too smart for that. She waited until my sister took her out to play with her (yes, imagine "playing" with a snake). She stayed on her lap quite happily... for a time. Then she went exploring. We foolishly allowed her to go behind the couch because we figured "Hey? What can she do?" Ha.

Apparently this cabinet doesn't close all the way at the back. She poked her little snakey head up and in a jiffy she was sitting quite comfortably up there like some kind of amazon tree snake.

We couldn't pull the drawer out because it would hurt her, and have you ever tried to pull a snake out of anywhere? They are a whole a lot stronger than you'd think. Remember, they squeeze small rodents for a living.

So we had to wait for three hours for her to come out. We couldn't leave her because it took her 30.125 seconds to get up in there. At least we knew where she was. I can't even imagine where she would have gone if we hadn't watched her. But you know what did finally the trick? Heating pad, baby. :) Yay for cold-blooded mammals mortal weakness. Bu-ya! WriterGirl for the win!

So all's well that ends well, right? At least I hope so. I'm still eyeing those encyclopedias pretty heavily now.

Stop the presses!!!

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Still Alive by Lisa Miskovsky (This one's for you, Beth!).

Oh wow. Oh wow oh wow. My mind is still blowing about this news. To keep myself from rambling incoherantly, I will just quite it direct from the source:

Deep Freeze
In another major YA acquisition before the Bologna Book Fair, Ben Schrank at Razorbill pre-empted North American rights to the debut novel by high school teacher Beth Revis, Across the Universe. Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House brokered the deal, which is for three books, and Universe is scheduled for spring 2011. In the novel, set in the near future, a teenager is cryogenically frozen only to thaw too soon, before arriving at the new planet that's her destination. Set to wake 300 years in the future, She rouses 50 years too early, still on a spaceship in transit. Schrank said he thinks the book will do for popular sci-fi what The Hunger Games did for postapocalyptic fiction. Rights have been pre-empted in the U.K. (by Razorbill UK, which will do a joint publication with Penguin USA) and Germany, and sales have also closed in France and Greece. (Publisher's Weekly).

Debut author? Three-book deal? With sales to UK, France, Germany, and Greece?! And to be compared to The Hunger Games?!! (if any of you have followed my blog for any amount of time, you know what a geek I am about THG). This is huge, like mega-huge. Would like to know what it is about? A murder mystery... in space!

Now for a more complete description:

High school teacher Beth Revis's debut ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, in the near-future, a reluctant teenage girl and her pioneer parents are cryogenically frozen for a 300-year trip to a new planet; she awakens 50 years early on a vast spaceship with a murderer on board, to Ben Schrank at Razorbill, in a major deal, in a pre-empt, in a three-book deal, for publication in spring 2011, by Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House (world English). (Publisher's Marketplace).

If you aren't following her, you really should. Not only is her blog amazing and funny, but if you can't tell, this book sounds big. Like EPIC big. If you want to be in the know, you'll want to know her. WriterGirl, over and out. *whooshes away*

P.S Here is some insider information straight from this blogger's mouth - this song (and subsequent music video) she calls her official theme song for her entire book. So if you want a hint for what's coming, have a listen below.

Monday's Muse, 11th edition.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Country Idyll by Mannheim Steamroller.

This was originally an idea from Au Courant started in March, an idea she has graciously let me run with.

The idea is to introduce you to unknown, forgotten, or overlooked fiction that has been lost from regular radar. I am WriterGirl. I am in the business of saving lives, one book at a time.

What I do is go to amazon, narrow it down to a YA field and type in a random word, any word that comes to mind. I then take a sampling of some I have never heard of before, or only vaguely heard of (and hopefully you as well). No infringement is intended for any description I take for the books. It's purely for promotional reasons. I will try and cover as many genres as possible that are fitting for the random word. Simple but it really uncovers some incredible gems. I will be doing this every other Monday. If there are any words you want to prompt me with, go ahead and fire away.

Today's random word:

Thief Eyes by Janni Lee Simner.

After her mother mysteriously disappears, sixteen-year-old Haley convinces her father to take her to Iceland, where her mother was last seen. There, amidst the ancient fissures and crevices of that volcanic island, Haley meets gorgeous Ari, a boy with a dangerous side who appoints himself her protector.

When Haley picks up a silver coin that entangles her in a spell cast by her ancestor Hallgerd, she discovers that Hallgerd's spell and her mother's disappearance are connected to a chain of events that could unleash terrifying powers and consume the world. Haley must find a way to contain the growing fires of the spell—and her growing attraction to Ari.

Janni Lee Simner brings the fierce romance and violent passions of Iceland's medieval sagas into this twenty-first-century novel, with spellbinding results.

Temping Fate by Esther Friesner.

Ilana, who favors t-shirts that read "Orc: The Other Green Meat," can't find a summer job in her "white-bread-and-vanilla" Connecticut town. Then she signs up with Divine Relief Temps, whose truly divine client roster includes Greek gods and goddesses. Her first assignment? Typing death certificates for the Fates. While Ilana adjusts to the impossible facts of her new job, home brings its own chaos; her sister, Dyllin, has mysteriously transformed into a full-blown bridezilla in preparation for her upcoming wedding. The story's pacing is uneven, disparate elements aren't always well-integrated, and lengthy passages of dialogue may slow some readers. Still, the clever, brash concept will easily draw teens. Readers will find lots that's familiar and likable about sardonic, vulnerable Ilana as she wrestles with gods and agonizes over moments of social awkwardness: "I put my foot in my mouth so much, everything tastes like toenails." For more irreverent fantasies about classical gods and contemporary teens, suggest Clea Hantman's Heaven Sent (2001) and Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief (2005). Gillian Engberg Copyright © American Library Association.

The Chronicles of Anaedor-The Prophecies by Kristina Schram.

THE GIRL ABOVE... Strange things happen to fifteen-year-old Lavida Mors. Maybe that's why her father sends her away to Portal Manor, a mysterious family estate she has never seen. Lavida quickly discovers that not everything at Portal Manor is as it seems when she stumbles across a secret passage to a hidden world--Anaedor. THE WORLD BELOW... Anaedor lies deep beneath the surface, separated from humanity, populated by mythical creatures. Long ago, ignorant humans, frightened by the powers of these magical and strange beings, forced them to flee to this dark world of huge caverns, frigid rivers and deep pits. It is these same creatures who take Lavida captive, forcing her to realize there might have been very good reasons for humans to be afraid. THE PROPHECY BINDS THEM... Malevolent forces, led by the evil Malvado, seek to control all of Anaedor, but an ancient prophecy tells of a hero who will save these denizens of the deep. While trying to escape the dark realm with the help of her friends, Lavida must battle overgrown sharp-toothed leeches, survive a poison arrow and outwit a giant, all the while trying to convince the hopeful populace of Anaedor that she is not the savior they believe her to be.

Serendipity Market by Penny Blubaugh.

Stories make the world go around in Blubaugh’s debut novel. Sometimes, when the world tilts off its axis, only the magical power of story can put things back to right. That’s where Mama Inez steps in. Using her gift of entering people’s lives in subtle yet mysterious ways, she gathers an eclectic group together for a night of storytelling. Each invited guest provides a talisman and a story, and together they set the world back to its rightful state. Weaving together unique variants of traditional tales, such as The Princess and the Pea, Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, and Cinderella, this beautiful novel will be a delight to those who enjoy spin-offs of fairy tales and folktales. Readers will find themselves flipping back and forth to figure out how all the different stories hidden in the fold come together to form the greater whole of this charming book. --Melanie Koss

Tomorrow's Magic by Pamela F. Service.

It's 500 years after the nuclear holocaust that devastated the earth's population and left the few survivors dealing with unending winter. At their remote British boarding school, Wellington Jones and Heather McKenna
have a lot in common. Both are misfits trying to avoid attention, and both are fascinated by Earl, a tall, calm, older boy with no recollection of his past, but a remarkable knack for showing up when he is needed most.

When a blow to the head brings Earl's memory back, he claims that he is actually Merlin . . . a 2000-year-old wizard.

Originally published in two volumes in the mid-1980s, Pamela F. Service's creative, futuristic spin on the Camelot legend will appeal to Arthurian purists and fantasy lovers alike.

Feature Fun Friday - How Twilight Should Have Ended

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Orange Blossoms by JJ Grey and Mofro.

In honor of the Eclipse trailer just released today (yesterday online, apparently), and because I've been a serious absentee on this blog this week, we have to do something especially fun. So I proudly present another How It Should Have Ended (you really should check out their website. It's fantastic), this time for Twilight. :) Enjoy and have a great weekend everyone!

Busy busy busy

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Still Alive by Lisa Miskovsky.

I am being bombarded on all sides today (and all this week for that matter. And last week), so no time for a proper post today. But I have found the cutest baby fox picture ever. Here it is! See you guys soon, hopefully.

Guess My Adventure

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Hanging By A Moment by Lifehouse.

Here is a new "mini-feature" I am going to start here (meaning: I have no idea how often I'll be putting this up. Like, it won't be scheduled. It's like a surprise!). :) I'm calling it "Guess My Adventure" and it is pretty self-explanatory. I'm always touting about my amazing (and also rather ordinary) adventures. Let's see if you can guess where I am/what I am doing (anything you can surmise from the clues or photo, anything at all. Let's bring out those plaid detective thinking caps, all ye Sherlocks-in-training). Because every day is an adventure and I want to show that on here. So far, only virtual cupcakes will be given to winners, but these cupcakes will be made of pure 100% grade-A awesome. So, are you ready?

What is my adventure?

Feature Fun Friday - Alice in Wonderland

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Africa by Toto.

Wow. I seriously underestimated how much "Alice in Wonderland" material there is on YouTube. I may be coming back to some of this in the future. But I found some cool gems for you today. First is a very well done machinima of "The Jabberwocky." I was quite taken with it. And second is a spoof of it, done by none other than the muppets! Really, how can you not love them? And last of all is just funny. It's a 50's commercial where the Disney Alice is telling us the wonders of Jello. Enjoy! Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Of Fencing and Horrible Promises updates.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): The Orange Tree by Philip Glass [The Illusionist soundtrack].

Has it really been two days? Crazy. It's weird how time flies and will leave you behind if you're not careful. I've been keeping busy and trying to bust apart the horrible promise I made myself to not buy any new books until I have finished all the ones I already own. Well guess what? Three down baby! Woohoo!

We are down

Alex and the Ironic Gentleman


The Emerald Tablet

So all we have left is... um... a lot. But keep up with my progress! It's the Great WriterGirl Race! (I feel like I should have a theme song to this. "Final Countdown" by Europe anyone?). :)

But on another front, alas, this was my last week of fencing classes. But good news for you is I snuck someone in, and so the video is a go! I'm reviewing the footage now. Some is really good, some of it is... hilarious. We'll see if any of my goofs make it into the video (I'm not promising anything! I have to make you think I look supercool since I'm an undercover superhero, right? Wait, but I'm "ordinary girl extraordinaire," so the goofs may be in). Anyway, back to writing and editing of all kinds. Hopefully the video will be up sometime next week.

P.S Dangit! I missed the ultimate "countdown date"! It was two days ago - 3/2/10. Think about it. Say it out loud. I'm so mad. That would have been awesome to do something to celebrate it.

Monday's Muse, 10th edition.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Fidelity by Regina Spektor.

This was originally an idea from Au Courant started in March, an idea she has graciously let me run with.

The idea is to introduce you to unknown, forgotten, or overlooked fiction that has been lost from regular radar. I am WriterGirl. I am in the business of saving lives, one book at a time.

What I do is go to amazon, narrow it down to a YA field and type in a random word, any word that comes to mind. I then take a sampling of some I have never heard of before, or only vaguely heard of (and hopefully you as well). No infringement is intended for any description I take for the books. It's purely for promotional reasons. I will try and cover as many genres as possible that are fitting for the random word. Simple but it really uncovers some incredible gems. I will be doing this every other Monday. If there are any words you want to prompt me with, go ahead and fire away.

Today's random word:

The Shape of Water by Anne Spollen.

As 15-year-old Magdalena tries to cope with her mother's suicide, reality and fantasy clash until she accepts the truth of what really happened. The beach was their favorite place, and they often swam and explored together. Now, the girl's companions are a family of fish that live in her imagination. At first this device is somewhat off-putting, but as the pain surrounding her loss becomes apparent, it becomes more acceptable. Her father tries to help her recover from the trauma she has suffered even while he must also adjust to his own grief. Hannah, her aunt, helps with practical things at home. She seems like a strong, focused woman but her background unfolds in surprising ways. Magda's father eventually marries a widow who tries to deny the troubles of her teenage son until he winds up in the hospital after a suicide attempt. Gradually, Magda begins to come to terms with reality, and, as she does, the fish companions begin to disappear. Though at times confusing, this story is riveting, and Spollen's incredibly descriptive prose creates images as clear and alive as those of a master painter. It demonstrates the resilience of the human spirit. —Renee Steinberg, School Library Journal.

The Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein.

The missing piece sat alone
waiting for someone
to come along
and take it somewhere....

The different ones it encounters - and what it discovers in its helplessness - are portrayed with simplicity and compassion in the words and drawings of Shel Silverstein.

Tangerine by Edward Bloor.

So what if he's legally blind? Even with his bottle-thick, bug-eyed glasses, Paul Fisher can see better than most people. He can see the lies his parents and brother live out, day after day. No one ever listens to Paul, though--until the family moves to Tangerine. In Tangerine, even a blind, geeky, alien freak can become cool. Who knows? Paul might even become a hero! Edward Bloor's debut novel sparkles with wit, authenticity, unexpected plot twists, and heart. The writing is so fine, the story so triumphant, that you just might stand up and shout when you get to the end. Hooray!

The Saga Of Grittel Sundotha by Ardath Mayhar.

Seven-foot-tall Grittel, daughter of the Lord of Sundoth, has refused the impossible marriage arranged by her domineering mother. Now an embarrassment to her family, she is sent forth to make her own way in the world. But Grittel Sundotha is no shrinking maiden. Along the way she castrates a noble noted for his lechery; defeats the assassins he sends after her; and, having been trapped by a sorceress in an enchanted forest, winds up boiling the witch in her own cauldron, taking with her the spell book she finds there.

This proves invaluable, for she finds that she has an innate gift for sorcery. When she meets a space ship's crew whose vessel has been pulled from their own dimension (where magic is impossible), into Grittel's (where technology does not work), she attempts to prove her abilities by "clearing" the Captain's head--and instead, inadvertently makes it invisible. She knows that she must find the wizard whose spell has trapped the ship, for only he can send the vessel home. But not all mages on this world practice white magic!

Sir Cumference and the First Round Table by Cindy Neuschwander, Wayne Geehan.

King Arthur and his knights have a royal tangle of problems. Their rectangular table is too long and their triangular table is too pointy, but they somehow must sit down and discuss the shape of the future. Join a knight named Sir Cumference, his wife, Lady Di of Ameter, and their son Radius as they use different strategies to solve this quandary. Full-color illustrations.